The Use of Big Data: Some Epistemological and Methodological Considerations

Sonia Stefanizzi


After presenting the main features of Big Data, the paper discusses its epistemological and methodological implications in social research. If the current interest in Big Data has generated the widespread impression that these methods are able to produce knowledge without the need to resort to conventional scientific methods, it remains an open question whether the possibility to work with a huge amount of data has really led to a new epistemological transition. A further aspect of critical reflection, present in the essay, concerns the quality and reliability of information, privacy issues and data ownership.


Big Data; epistemological transition; data quality.

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